About the Artist and his work :
Anjolie Ela Menon was born on 17 July 1940, in Burnpur, Bengal [now in West Bengal] India of mixed Bengali and American parentage.
She went to school in Lovedale in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu and thereafter had a brief spell at the J.J. School of art in Bombay. Subsequently she earned a degree of English Literature from Delhi University. After holding solo Exhibitions in Bombay and Delhi in the late 1950s as a teenager, Nenon worked and studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1961-62 on a French Government scholarship. Before returning home, she traveled extensively in Europe and West Asia studying Romanesque and Byzantine art. Since then she has lived and worked in India, in England, the U.S.A., Germany and the erstwhile USSR. She had over thirty solo shows including at Black heath Gallery-London, Gallery Radicke-Bonn, Winston Gallery-Washington, Doma Khudozhinkov-USSR, Rabindra Bhavanand Shridharani Gallery-New Delhi, Academy of Fine Arts-Calcutta, the Gallery-Madras, Jehangir Gallery, Chemould Gallery, Taj Gallery, Bombay and Maya Gallery at the Museum Annexe, Hong Kong. A retrospective exhibition was held in 1988 in Bombay, Menon has participated in several international or shows in France, Japan, Russia and U.S.A. Her work recently went under the hammer at the Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions of Contemporary Indian Art in London. A book titled “ANJOLIE ELA MENON: Paintings in Private Collections” has been published on her life and work.Menon was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours, in 2000.
Her preferred medium is oil on Masonite, though she has also worked in glass and water colour. Her paintings have a fine textured surface which she has heightened by furbishing the completed work with a soft dry brush. This reflects a glow which is evocative of medieval icons. Menon applied the distinctiveness of early Christian art, including the anterior view, the moved aside head, and the minor body lengthening but took the female nudity as a recurrent focus. As a result, the creation becomes a dynamic acquaintance of amativeness and melancholy. Even through her thematic portrayal of empty chairs, black crows, hidden figures and windows, she has attempted to develop her symbolic representations of distance and exit in her later works.